(9) conversations on ecology, abstraction, and the anthropocene
The clay comes from the land
The work has a very close spiritual and personal relationship to it
but it is so different from being out here.
The material I'm using records movement
it records the body, in a very nontoxic way.
I have nothing to fear when I'm working with the material
This is not the experience I've had on the water.
One begins to realize that to be pro-choice can also be an ecological position
– that we need less humans.
I still have yet to meet anyone who says they're pro-choice because of this.
Except for my sister, an ecologist who studies invasive species.
It is very uncomfortable, to hear her evoke the death of humans.
I had biophilia. I just did everything that I thought was nature.
I pretended to be a horse all the time
or a cow or a cat or a mouse, I was never human.
and if you look at my early artwork, there are no people in it, anywhere,
there are no humans. and I just wanted there not to be humans.
I like interacting with people, but my art practice was not about that at all.
Visuality is one of your greatest strengths as an artist.
Painters have always known this
and have produced ideological positions around landscapes for centuries.
Those renderings make it fact.
What counter visualizations can we produce in a place like this?
We're raising a generation of children who are scared of the outdoors
who don't know how to be in the wilderness.
There are so many niches in terms of what the ecosystem can allow
There are moments here when I forget I'm in New York.
These organisms are so well developed, they have coevolved with us,
so they know how to exploit the bits and pieces we leave.
This is a novel ecosystem
A site that can't be returned to what it was, that has gone too far in change.
But how do we define the baseline?
that the breast-milk of inuit women has become toxic.
Its actually classified as toxic material.
If we're becoming a novel species, does that mean that we live with high levels of cancer?
high levels of birth-defects?
if women breastfeed their infants with toxic substances.
Mary Walling Blackburn
T. Willis Elkins
Ellen Lindgren and Hannah James (Transcription)
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